If you have read, listened to or watched even a snippet of ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage, it doesn’t take long to recognize the significant contributions of Wright Thompson.
For more than a year, the award-winning ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine senior writer has been on special assignment for World Cup.
He has written ESPN The Magazine features on Bosnian striker Vedad Ibišević, Uruguay’s enigmatic Luis Suarez and a cover story on the world’s top player Lionel Messi, who leads Argentina into this weekend’s World Cup final (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET., ABC and WATCH ABC; ESPN Radio).
Thompson, who lives in Mississippi, travelled to Brazil on two occasions in advance of the tournament with a production crew from Bluefoot Entertainment to produce an astounding 54 cultural exploration video essays that have aired throughout ESPN’s television coverage the past month. His “Half a Mile,” about players realizing childhood dreams of playing in the sport’s biggest event, will air this Sunday in the pre-match show (1 p.m. ET, ABC). Thompson also wrote and voiced the adrenaline-filled patriotic anthem “Who Do You Love?” for the USA-Belgium match set to the famous George Thorogood song of the same name.
All this would be enough for most people, but not for Thompson who also has dedicated himself to documenting the story of the World Cup the past four weeks in a blog for ESPNFC.com.
With photographer Leo La Valle, Thompson has travelled to nearly 10 different countries throughout Latin America. At each stop along the way, he has written about the World Cup at a fascinating, granular level. He has depicted the people and the places and exactly what these games mean to the participating nations beyond the wins and losses. The infographic above highlights his travelogue and below are links to some of the notable stories he has filed along the way as part of his own personal World Cup journey.
- La Partida, Mexico, “Peralta brings La Partida to Big Stage”
- San Pedra Sula, Honduras: “Soccer a Distraction from Honduras’ Reality”
- Medellin, Colombia: “Joy, Caution in the Streets of Medellin”
- Montevideo, Uruguay: “Uruguay Comes to the Defense of Suarez”
- Rio de Janiero, Brazil: “Scenes of Defeat on the Streets of Brazil”
Carrie Kreiswirth and Rachel Siegal contributed to this post
Finally … The Last Call hat has found its proper home: my head… pic.twitter.com/0zcC6y8UHd
— Wright Thompson (@wrightthompson) July 9, 2014